ISO9001-2008 Helps Auto Dealer Get Paid!

Fitzgerald Auto Malls successfully implemented an ISO9001 quality management system, and it has paid off for them.

Last summer, during the “Cash For Clunkers” program, there were reports that some auto dealers were not being paid by the federal government. Fitzgerald Auto Malls used their ISO9001 system to develop work instructions for their employees as soon as the Cash For Clunkers program started.

Fitzgerald Auto Malls collected more than $4.5 million in federal rebates, sold more than 1000 vehicles, and didn’t suffer the delays that other dealers reported.

Fitzgerald’s management was initially puzzled at their success, when other dealers reported lots of trouble with collecting payments. But soon it became apparent why Fitzgerald succeeded where others did not.

Their ISO9001 quality management system is embedded in Fitzgerald’s culture. Its just something they do, without giving it a lot of thought. So when the federal program was announced, Fitzgerald Auto Malls put together a team to create and refine the work instruction, and then trained their people accordingly. After training, Fitzgerald management followed up to make sure the implementation was working.

The National Highway Traffice Safety Administration (NHTSA), in charge of disbursing funds under the Cash For Clunkers program, experienced delays and problems in dealer submissions. NHTSA sent managers to Fitzgerald’s to see how the system was working from a dealer’s perspective. Changes were made to the system based on Fitzgerald’s feedback.

On the last day of the Cash For Clunkers program, the government’s system had crashed. Many dealers scrambled to submit their documentation. Fitzgerald’s documents had already been correctly submitted.

Fitzgerald Auto Malls was better prepared to take advantage of the government program because of the ISO9001 quality management systems already in place, and it showed on the bottom line.

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